IDRU: March – London Design Week, Olga Polizzi and Rocco Forte Hotels

Interior Design Round Up has been shortened to IDRU.

The highlight of this month was, of course, London Design Week! Although this took place on my doorstep, at the Design Centre Chelsea Harbour, I unfortunately wasn’t able to go. Trade dates were 8-10 March and the show opened to the public from 11-13 March. In this post, I’m going to be talking about hotelier Olga Polizzi, who gave a speech at London Design Week that inspired me to go and explore the Rocco Forte Hotels.

Olga Polizzi of Rocco Forte Hotels

I read that Olga Polizzi gave a speech about her process of hotel design. I would love design commercial settings like hotels, bars and restaurants, so this would have been a great talk for me! Hearing this, however, led me to go and explore the Rocco Forte Hotels website. And all I can say is, wow.

The hotels are honestly what dreams are made of! If you’re picturing yourself in a beautiful dress, wandering through the hallways of a very grand and decadent building, then The Balmoral, Edinburgh is perfect. Or, if you see yourself lounging in a king sized bed wearing a silk dressing gown (I often do), then the suites at Brown’s Hotel, London are ideal.

The interior at Brown’s Hotel was designed by Olga herself and effortlessly “harmonises stunning period features with contemporary flair.” As an English graduate, I can’t help but gush over the fact that Brown’s Hotel has its origins in Lord Byron’s history. It was his butler, James Brown, who acquired it in 1837 and expanded it to create Brown’s Hotel in 1838. The literary links continue, as the hotel has had George Orwell, Agatha Christie and Rudyard Kipling, who started The Jungle Book during one of his stays there. Agatha Christie is said to have based At Bertram’s Hotel on Brown’s and Stephen King supposedly started his novel Misery, whilst sat at Kipling’s desk there!

Deluxe Suite at Brown’s Hotel, London
Dover Suite at Brown’s Hotel, London
Dover Suite at Brown’s Hotel, London

The rooms are interesting because they’re a mix of traditional and contemporary design. The cornice and colour scheme in the Dover Suite above feel Georgian, yet the furniture and ornaments are very much contemporary.

Hotel de Russie in Rome, another Rocco Forte Hotel is the perfect luxury getaway. I love the Nijinksy Suite at this hotel. The patterns, fresh, light colour palette and gorgeous Italian views really make it the type of European getaway I picture when I close my eyes.

Nijinksy Suite at Hotel de Russie, Rome
Nikinksy Suite at Hotel de Russie, Rome
Nijinksy Suite at Hotel de Russie, Rome
Nijinksy Suite at Hotel de Russie, Rome

Finally, perhaps the dreamiest of all, is The Westbund Hotel, Shanghai. The luxury, futuristic feel of the hotel’s bars and restaurants is incredible. The rooftop bar sits on the 59th floor and offers panoramic views of the West Bund. There’s also n Italian restaurant, a Chinese restaurant and a British tea room.

The Westbund Hotel, Shanghai
The Westbund Hotel, Shanghai

Plus, the ceiling on this spa would honestly make me feel like I had left reality completely and entered heaven. It’s almost as if this whole room sits amongst the clouds…

The Westbund Hotel Spa, Shanghai
The Westbund Hotel Spa, Shanghai
The Westbund Hotel Suite, Shanghai
The Westbund Hotel Suite, Shanghai

I won’t pretend as if any of the rooms I’ve mentioned in this post aren’t wildly unattainable. All of this superior, considered design comes at a very high cost. The Kipling Suite at Brown’s Hotel starts at £4,200 a night – definitely not pocket change!

Kiping Suite at Brown’s Hotel, London
Kiping Suite at Brown’s Hotel, London

Interior Design Round Up – February

I want to start off by showcasing this gorgeous guest room at the Santa Monica Proper Hotel. Designed by Kelly Wearstler, this monochrome room is just beautiful. The colour scheme may look simple, but working with different textures, tones and tints of the same colour actually makes this room quite visually complex. It’s a really great way to keep things simple (ish) yet still create a really impressive interior. You can read more about Kelly Wearstler’s commissioning of the Proper Hotels & Residences here on the Interior Design magazine website!

Talking of colour, I want to mention that Dulux’s colour of the year is stunning! I absolutely love it. It’s called Tranquil Dawn and is supposed to represent that moment of calm that we are all seeking in a world full of chaos. It started out with the idea of humanity and what it means to be human and was refined and developed into this meaning. I really love the story behind this colour and I think it is also such a beautiful one. Unlike Pantone’s, which I talked about in January’s round up – I don’t really like that one!

Dulux Tranquil Dawn

Next up, I want to showcase this really unique pendant light fixture that I found whilst sourcing. The below pendant is by Seattle based manufacturer Graypants and is crafted by hand from recycled cardboard. Yet, it looks incredible! It’s warm, textured and definitely a striking standout piece to use in a design scheme. All of the lights are precision cut with a laser, use non-toxic adhesive, and all have been proofed with a non-toxic fire retardant. These are part of the Scraplights range and you can get them in different shapes. I love finding pieces that are beautiful and environmentally friendly!

Graypants Products ScrapLights Natural
Graypants Scraplights

Also interesting was this read from The Guardian (who I interned with – yes, I have to throw that in there at every opportunity possible thank you!), discussing how it is possible to liven up a property that you rent. Obviously follow the rules set out by your landlord, so as not to breach your contract, but this South London (Crystal Palace) interior is colourful and personal and you would never guess that the tenant doesn’t own it.

The artist, Anna Jacobs, who owns the house also produces some beautiful homeware which you can have a look at on the Anna Jacobs Design website here. Her pieces are really colourful and in the article she talks about how colour effects her mood and why it’s therefore important to her to have lots of it around. You can also browse the rooms in her home on her Instagram account.

Anna Jacobs House
Anna Jacobs Website

Finally, I have to mention The Wing London, Oxford Circus. I’ve been seeing this advertise all over my Instagram. If you haven’t, then it’s a co-working and community space for women. The first Wing opened in New York (the coolest, chicest city ever) in 2016 and now we have one here. It’s a private club, uniquely and brilliantly designed of course. Women use it for running their own businesses or just to be part of a community of empowered and elite women who inspire each other. I say this as if I’m a member myself, which I’m not, but perhaps one day. You can glimpse some of the room below and find out more on their website.

The Wing, London
Roof Terrace at The Wing, London

Interior Design Round Up – January

Image from Crittall

This year, I plan to start a monthly interior design post on this blog that brings you all of my favourite trends, designer showcases and just general chat about the industry. If you’re not following my interior design Instagram, then please do! @tanyasinteriors for all of the inspiration you need to re-design your home.

The first thing I want to talk about this month is Crittall windows and doors. Don’t worry, for months I didn’t know the proper name for these either and I’ve actually just been calling them grid windows and doors. Regardless, this style is my absolute favourite for kitchen and bathroom partitions. It feels like such a modern trend but it’s actually named after an ironmonger called Francis Henry Crittall; who, in 1860, created metal windows in this style. Paired with neutral tones, plants and lots of black and white artwork, it does feel very chic. I’m just glad I finally know exactly what to call them!

Image from Crittall

The colour grey has been a safe choice for many when it comes to re-designing their home. It was a safe choice for me when choosing what colour to paint my childhood bedroom, which was previously a colour called Jazberry that I picked up in Homebase when I was maybe 14? It was only at 21 did I remove the awful floral border in my bedroom and paint the walls grey. You can read all about that transformation here. But I’ve heard that blue is actually the new grey!

Image from Pantone

The Pantone colour of the year is classic blue and it’s been met with a lot of mixed responses. I don’t know about you but I would find it difficult to incorporate this shade of blue into any kind of cheerful design. To me, it screams of sadness and mourning. I’m far more comfortable working with rich or pastel blues. Deeper blue kitchen cabinets with gold knobs or handles for example, is a pairing that I absolutely adore. Or, pale blue metro wall tiles in a bathroom, which immediately brings that sense of freshness to the room. Either way, I think I’ll be happy to see the end of the safe grey phase.

Image from Clare Gaskin

Mixing textures but using the same colours is also something I have seen quite a bit of recently. It’s a great way to create some variety in a room if you’re not that comfortable splashing out on colour. I was shown this Surrey fun house at work by Clare Gaskin last month and I love it! It’s just exactly what it says it is – fun. This is the kind of home that calls for constant entertaining and is all play and no sleep. Plus, I adore the wallpaper in the image above. I first saw it on an Instagram account called @oakappledecor – picture below. I rave about Cole & Son all the time but their wallpapers truly are to die for and so varied too. This is the Circus wallpaper from their Geometric II range.

Image from Instagram @oakappledecor

But, if you can’t bear the thought of mixing so many vibrant colours in one room, then try playing around with textures. As you can see here, you’ve got the plants, the sheers and the wood textures coming through in the furniture but the colour palette remains very stable.

Image from Curbed

If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ll know how much I love kitchen design. I think the kitchen is the most sociable and important room in the house, closely followed by the bathroom. I’m still deciding whether I want to focus on kitchen and bathroom design in the future because I’m literally obsessed with both! Earlier, I came across a trend about concealed kitchens. This is basically where you have cabinet doors covering all the worktops and functional spaces in the kitchen but you can open or pull out different parts as and when you need to use them.

Now, I haven’t really heard of this much. I once was involved in a project where the designer was working on a pull out kitchen table, which turned out very nicely in the end. But this was to try and maximise quite a small space. I haven’t really thought about concealing parts of a kitchen in a room where you already have that space. I’m not sure how I feel about it either!

Images from Hub Kitchens

Finally, I want to remind you all that the Surface Design Show takes place next week from the 11th to 13th February. Unfortunately, I can’t go as I’ll be working and then flying to Lisbon on the 13th. I do hear that it’s a great event for picking up news on the latest material trends for interior and exterior surfaces. There are talks and events happening throughout the day and it’s a great way to network. I’m sure you know the usual! You can get tickets here on the BIID website.

Dark Interiors?

Often in interior design, people want to use bright colours to open up a space. So they stick to neutrals or they “branch out” with greys and beiges instead of whites. As I’ve been posting more and more inspiration on my interior design Instagram account (@tanyasinteriors), I’ve grown to discover that I really love the look of dark colours in a space. Dark is cool, sophisticated and a little bit intriguing. Lighter colours just give everything away and I love a bit of mystery!
Here are a few examples of how darker interiors have been used. I’m a huge fan of dark blues and greys and I think that adding a lighter wood colour balances out the darkness very nicely!
All images are from Pinterest and are not my own.

5 design styles I love

New York Lofts

You’re going to hear me gushing about exposed brick a hell of a lot on the interior design section of this blog. I absolutely love it. People wouldn’t really think this is my style, they probably imagine a house that’s got some quite traditional features because I always say that I want a little cottage in the country. The country cottage is the end goal – there are lots of other places I would love to have in between. New York lofts have such a relaxed, artistic vibe. I could imagine myself writing some really good stories in one of these lofts, with lots of industrial fixtures and fittings to match.

Scandinavian Flats

Scandinavian design is all about minimalism. Clean lines, neutral tones and pops of colour with plants and throws and rugs. Everything is just very neat and fresh. I love Scandinavian design for a first flat. Flats in London are small and this kind of design really opens out the space.

Picture from Nasha Style

Coastal Style

Houses like this, with very white décor and brown tones remind you of the beach right? Not a tropical beach (we’ll get to that), but like a seaside town. Very peaceful and very homely. I like this kind of design because it’s simple and it brings the coastal atmosphere inside. Ah, I can hear the seagulls just thinking about it!

Picture from Home Wow Decor

Hamptons Chic

Hamptons style houses are just dreamy. First of all, we have my beloved shaker style doors all over the kitchen. Not to mention that the kitchens are absolutely heaving with storage and entertaining space. Can you imagine having a Christmas dinner party in one of these houses? It would just be perfect. There’s a lot of white, which I would probably change slightly just to avoid it looking too clinical. But I love the planks of wood flooring and the rows of windows bringing in floods of light.

Picture from Pinterest

Tropics Bathrooms

Finally, one of my all-time absolute favourite – the tropics. For a bathroom, I really don’t think you can get much better than this. It’s a cross between a relaxing spa and a tropical holiday, which are luxuries right? So just imagine if you could have that holiday feeling at the end of every long day.

Picture from Pinterest

How to get your home ready for Autumn

I am so happy to say that I went out in a knitted jumper for the first time in months yesterday. Yes, Autumn is here in my opinion and I’m so happy about it! When I think of Autumn, I think of red and gold leaves, coffee cups and ankle boots treading on pavements drenched in rain. Maybe it’s not always as appealing as it sounds – nobody likes to get caught in the rain, do they? But, when you’re not outside caught in the rain, you’re at home. So it’s just as important to get your home ready for Autumn as it is to get your wardrobe sorted – agree?

Not everybody has a warm paint colour scheme like above, but you can add things into your home that are transitional throughout the seasons. Purchasing new cushion covers and throws for your living room, for example. Some of my favourite places to shop for things like this on the high street are H&M home and Heal’s. I picked up the most gorgeous pink fur throw from H&M home last year for only £30. It’s still as soft and vibrant as when I first bought it and it comes in so handy for the colder months.
I also think that Autumnal flower arrangements look really pretty and are a great way to shift your home through the seasons. Oranges and yellows to bring the colours of the changing leaves inside, of course. I think anything with dark foliage for Autumn looks lovely.
Does anybody change their bedding through the seasons? I mean, obviously we all change our bedding regularly, but I only recently thought about having specific sets for different times of year. I usually have white, floral bedding on just because I think it looks the most clean and fresh. But as it gets colder, bringing in some deeper colours – even just as a sheet instead of a duvet cover – might work quite nicely. Of course, you have to be conscious of the décor in your room. My walls are grey, so finding the right shade and pattern would be important. Next is my favourite place to purchase new bedding. 

Finally, candles! It’s time to start lighting candles guys! One of the things that I really want to do this year, is get a metal tray to put my candles on. I just think they look so decorative and add a little something extra. Also, they make everything lovely and neat and tidy. If you want little ornaments like trays and coasters, I really recommend Anthropologie because their stuff is gorgeous. I have mentioned them on my blog before, they really are just so dreamy.

3 wallpapers that are guaranteed to make a statement in your home

As many of you will know, I absolutely love interior design so I felt that it was only right to add an interior design section to my blog. I also have an interior design page that I have started on Instagram (@tanyasinteriors) if you would like to follow me there! I want to use this space to talk about my favourite interiors, looks and little things that inspire me when it comes to designing a room or a whole home.

To kickstart this section of the blog, I wanted to give you my recommendations for some gorgeous wallpapers to add to a statement room in your home. This could be your bedroom, the hallway, a music room (if you’re lucky enough to have one). I imagine these wallpapers in rooms that you might use to relax and unwind. Or, in areas of your home that guests will frequent. I can promise that you will be receiving a hell of a lot of compliments on your wallpaper if you get them from these brands.

Cole & Son 

I discovered this brand while at work because we had one of their wallpapers up in our showroom. Cole & Son is such a gorgeous, luxurious looking brand. They have a beautiful Botanicals range, but my personal favourite is their ‘Nuvole al Tramonto’ from the Fornasetti collection. Imagine this on the ceiling for a little taste of heaven every time you go to sleep!

De Gournay

If you want a wallpaper that can tell a different story to each of your guests, then I highly recommend having a look at the French wallpapers that De Gournay have to offer. Not only are they absolutely mesmerising in my opinion, but they will add something so unique to your home that all of your guests will be gushing over where you got it from. I love how the ‘L’Eden’ wallpaper has been used below.

Milton & King

The wallpaper displayed below is designed by an artist called Humayrah Bint Altaf using shimmering embroidery and metallic beads to delicately craft the insects. If you’re looking for something fun, then have a look at some of the wallpapers by Milton & King. I love the fact that there is texture in the wallpaper and I think it would be a great statement piece.

Leave your favourite wallpaper designers below!